Double Ovulation

Definition - What does Double Ovulation mean?

Double ovulation is the release of two eggs during the same month of a single menstrual cycle. In double ovulators, two growth waves of maturing follicles occur in the ovaries during the same month. This means that two dominant follicles mature instead of the more typical single dominant follicle.

These follicles burst to release two eggs. If these two eggs are fertilized by separate sperm, it would result in fraternal twins. The release of eggs may occur at the same time, or the two eggs may ovulate separately within a 24-hour period. It is estimated that this might occur in 5-10% of all cycles.

FertilitySmarts explains Double Ovulation

Typically, several growth waves of follicles precede ovulation, with two or more follicles developing but only one rupturing and proceeding to ovulation. The mature follicle will burst to facilitate the release of the egg that can be fertilized. The rest of the follicles die. Some women, however, tend to reveal two or even more follicular wave developments prior to ovulation. These women ovulate more than once in the same month.

Factors that promote double ovulation include:

  • Advanced age: As a woman ages, her FSH levels rise, which stimulates the growth and maturation of follicles.

Double ovulators tend to have higher estradiol and lower FSH concentrations than single ovulators because of the increased production of estradiol by the two follicles, which in turn inhibits the release of FSH from the pituitary gland.

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